Quality Awards II: Leading libraries


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Product features
Sun regained its form in the enterprise product features category with a 5.74 score, the highest of any product in the survey (see the "Product features" graph within "Rankings of enterprise tape libraries").

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It received a 5.95 for the statement "Overall, this product's features meet my needs" and a 5.90 for "This product scales well." HP, the second-place finisher in this category, received its highest score (5.83) for "This product meets my performance needs." Qualstar, which placed second overall, fell from grace in this category with a 4.99. Apparently, users were most disappointed in Qualstar's user interface, giving the company a 4.19 for the statement "This product's user interface meets my needs."

In 2005, Spectra Logic swept the Quality Award by winning every midrange category. But despite repeating as the overall winner, it couldn't repeat such a feat this time. Overland Storage topped the midrange field with a 5.63 for product features, barely edging out IBM's 5.62. Spectra Logic rated third with a 5.58 (see the "Product features" graph within "Rankings of midrange tape libraries"). Overland users thought most highly of its system interoperability, giving it a very high 6.33 for "This product is interoperable with other vendor's products." IBM users felt that interoperability was also its system's strength, although not quite as strongly (5.89). Spectra Logic was best rated for the statement "Overall, this product's features meet my needs" (5.77).

Because they're largely mechanical devices, some types of manual operations can play an important role in product selection. "We wanted a library that offered very quick access, where you can take out a bulk of tapes fairly quickly," says Conservation International's Littlefield, so that tape-handling chores would be facilitated. The HP StorageWorks MSL Series met its requirements. "With just one button, it opens up both doors and you can take out all the cartridges out of the library in just a few seconds," says Littlefield.

This was first published in January 2007

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